By Rashid Shirinov
Secretary General of the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) Yousef al-Othaimeen called on Armenia to liberate the occupied Azerbaijani territories.
Al-Othaimeen called for respect for internationally recognized borders while speaking at an event at the OIC headquarters in Jeddah on March 13, commemorating the 25th anniversary of the Khojaly tragedy.
The Secretary-General called on Armenia to immediately and unconditionally withdraw its armed forces from the occupied Azerbaijani lands. “The Khojaly Genocide was the result of Armenia’s illegitimate occupation of Azerbaijani territory,” Al-Othaimeen said.
He also urged the OIC member-states to exert pressure on Armenia to end its occupation of Azerbaijani territories.
Permanent Representative of Azerbaijan to the OIC Rasim Rzayev, in turn, noted at the event that the Nagorno-Karabakh problem is the problem of not only Azerbaijan, but also of the entire Islamic world.
“Those who planned and committed this dirty crime against humanity have not answered before the law yet," Rzayev stressed.
Late into the night of February 25, 1992, Khojaly came under intensive fire from the towns of Khankendi and Askeran already occupied by Armenian armed forces. The Armenian forces, supported by the ex-Soviet 366th regiment, completed the surrounding of the town already isolated due to ethnic cleansing of the Azerbaijani population of the neighboring regions. The joint forces occupied the town, which was ruined by heavy artillery shelling.
As a result, 613 people were killed, including 106 women, 70 elderly and 83 children. A total of 1,000 civilians were disabled. Eight families were exterminated, and 25 children lost both parents, while 130 children lost one parent. Moreover, 1,275 innocent people were taken hostage, while the fate of 150 remains unknown.